Shropshire Star

The Bonham: A special place in every way

We had been driving for more than five hours but as soon as we arrived at The Bonham we knew our long journey had been more than worth it.

The Bonham opened as one of the first boutique hotels in Edinburgh

This inviting and charming boutique hotel in Edinburgh’s attractive West End neighbourhood, known for its beautiful Georgian houses and pretty garden squares, was a welcome sight. A quick check of the map shows it’s on the doorstep of some the city’s major attractions but away from the hustle and bustle making it an ideal base for a relaxing stay.

My boyfriend and I were staying in one of the hotel’s superior double rooms which was decorated in a timeless, classic style and filled with natural light thanks to the lovely bay window and beautiful fabrics.

There was a table with chairs allowing you to take advantage of the rooftops view where you could sit to enjoy a morning cuppa thanks to a well-stocked welcome tray that offered teas, coffees and hot chocolate as well as some very tasty shortbread biscuits.

The room also had wifi and plenty of plug sockets while the spacious bathroom had a rainfall shower and luxurious toiletries from The White Company Noir collection. It was the perfect setting to unwind after a lengthy drive.

There are 49 en-suite rooms with many offering stunning views either over Drumsheugh Gardens or looking north over the New Town towards the Firth of Forth and Kingdom of Fife.

Staff pride themselves on providing a homely and friendly base for guests while they are visiting Edinburgh and there is also the stylish, modern restaurant, No.35, as well as cosy lounges where you can relax and have cocktails or afternoon tea. The hotel has many original architectural features like wooden panelling, carved door frames, cornicing and detailed stonework which gave been painstakingly preserved and restored.

It has a rich history having been originally constructed as three separate townhouses in 1872 which were home to wealthy families and their servants for the next 60 years.

In 1939 the houses were sold and collectively used for a private medical practice specialising in maternity care. Over the next 12 years many hundreds of babies were born on the premises but it was bought by the University of Edinburgh who converted the buildings into Muir Hall of Residence for university students from outside the city.

Then in 1998, The Bonham opened as one of the first boutique hotels in the city. Since then it’s gained a reputation for offering guests a taste of luxury and home away from home. Last year, it also underwent extensive refurbishment to let its original Georgian features take centre stage.

The hotel is very proud of its No.35 restaurant which, led by head chef Marco Drumond Nobrega, offers an eclectic menu of European-inspired food with a Scottish twist, using the best of local suppliers and ingredients.

We had a table booked to sample the A La Carte menu which included nibbles such as olives and breads to enjoy while choosing your courses, an array of starters and mains. It also had a grill section including steaks from 35-day aged beef sourced from the Tweed Valley in the Scottish borders and the Bonham burger. I opted for the lamb main course which included a braised shoulder and spring cabbage parcel, a belly stuffed potato and black truffle espuma. Every mouthful was a delight and the meat was beautifully cooked and seasoned. My partner chose the plaice which came served with crayfish tail, buerre noisette, blood orange and fennel. It was a generous serving of fish and he said it was also well-seasoned and had a lovely flavour.

We could have quite happily eaten the meals again but the dessert menu was calling our names. I had already spotted the chocolate and salted caramel cheesecake and couldn’t resist. It came served with honey comb ice cream and a chocolate shard physalis. It was rich and decadent – perfect for chocoholics. My boyfriend, being a huge fan of anything with coconut, went for the Pina Colada iced coconut and cherry parfait, with peppered pineapple and mint leaf.

Another thing that is great about the restaurant is that it caters for all tastes and budgets. As well as the A La Carte menu, there is the Market Menu which offers a selection of courses with two for £18.50 and three for £22.50.

There is also a lunchtime Wednesday to Sunday ‘Boozy Snoozy’ offer of three courses from the Market Menu and a half bottle of wine and a Sunday roast menu.

Breakfast is served in the same restaurant and the menu includes a continental option where you can help yourself to a wide selection of cereals, meats and cheeses, yoghurt, fresh and dried fruits, breads,pastries and juices with coffee, tea and toast served at the table.

Or you can select one of the hot dishes such as a full Scottish breakfast including tattie scones and haggis, a vegetarian breakfast, eggs Benedict, Royale or Florentine, Orkney kippers and porridge. The eggs Benedict with back bacon and creamy, hollandaise sauce was a particular highlight and we also enjoyed tasting the traditional Scottish items too.

The substantial breakfast sets you up well for a day exploring the city. The beauty of The Bonham is that you are close enough to many of Edinburgh’s world famous attractions but far enough away that you can enjoy a leisurely and picturesque walk before you have to fight the crowds.

We enjoyed our stroll through Princess Street Gardens and into the Old Town and along the Royal Mile.

We also paid a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland and continued the royal theme with a self-guided tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith.

But every night it was a joy to return to our comfortable room at The Bonham and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there – in fact it was very hard to leave! The staff were always friendly and happy to help, a sign that it’s a special place to work as well as to stay.


Wonderfully situated on a quiet, leafy crescent and just a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh’s iconic attractions, sightseeing, shopping areas. The Bonham Hotel is one of the city’s most stylish hotels, featuring 49 stylish bedrooms, flexible events and wedding facilities, as well as a modern European restaurant serving a range of fine dining and light options in the heart of the city. Room rates from £149 B&B for a double.